Monday, October 26, 2015

Oct 26, 2015

"Every man heard them speak in his own language."

Another awesome week. I love this place.

This week we had a Baptism of 8, what an incredible experience that was. After the actual baptism and they were dry and seated, the Branch Mission Leader had them stand and bear their testimonies. I loved it. That was the most spiritual part for me. Every single one of them gave extremely wonderful testimonies, and it was then that I realized that these people were converted far beyond the point that I could solely convert them. They developed their testimonies from the Holy Spirit, and the influence He had upon them as they ACTED on the things we asked them to do. Read, pray, ponder, search, ask, and come and see for yourself. They did these things and I know that it allowed for the influence of the Holy Ghost to pierce their hearts and give them that testimony. Now they have the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the right of his constant companionship. I am so excited for them, crazy how much I love all of them and in how little time I have been here.

Funny story about the baptism though; as they were coming in the baptismal clothing and sitting down before we started the ordinances, two extra people came in also dressed; an old man, and a teenager. I was confused. Elder Treadway and I looked at each other and then asked our Branch Mission Leader, "who are these guys and why are they in the baptismal clothes?", He replies, "arnt they your investigators?" , "No we don't even recognize them!" Haha long story short, we had two other people who wanted to be baptized and so they decided to just join in. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't quite work like that. Now to their defense they have both been coming to church for quite a while and really desire to be baptized, we just have to teach them first. haha I never thought I would have to STOP people from being baptized. Definitely a tough problem to complain about haha.

That evening (Saturday) we went to a Branch activity that was held at our chapel, and since most of our Recent Converts were there, we decided to also go, And it was so much fun. We played volley ball, ( A sport I'm actually decent at compared to soccer) and that was awesome, it was just a great time, and it was nice to spend that kind of time with our members and Recent Converts as well, just a way to show them that yeah, we are normal people and like to have fun and not just teaching robots. awesome.

WANNA KNOW WHAT ELSE IS AWESOME? Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Hallstrom of the Presidents of the Seven and Elder Curtis of the Seventy are all coming to the Liberia District Conference this Sunday! WHAT!? I am so pumped for this. It's not really for missionaries but man I am going to love it. Also, the missionaries get to go to the Priesthood Leadership Training with them after the conference. Again not strictly for us but it will be a much smaller attendance so it will feel more personal. So, so excited!

As for my subject line, I am picking up the Colloqua, or Liberian English, little by little. To the point where I've gotten compliments here and there, still working really hard but I find that if I can get the Language down, I can connect much better with the people and the culture, so that's my goal. I still miss Twi though ever so much. and I have lost my Spanish. Every time I try to think of a Spanish word all I can think of is Twi. Which means that at least I will have a hard time forgetting it, I hope.
That was my week though, this week should be pretty eventful so I will let you know next week!
-Elder Verdoni

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oct 19, 2015

This Week Was Awesome

So this week was really, really productive and rewarding. I loved this week and it really reaffirmed to me that this is where I am supposed to be serving and where I am supposed to be in general, here's why:

We (Elder Treadway and I) are preparing nine people for their baptism on the 24th of October, so this week. I have never had so much joy with so much stress! To teach these nine people enough and to see them enough to prepare them correctly for their baptism on top of maintaining other and finding new investigators ON TOP of all the office and Assistant work that we've been doing this week, has been really hard work, But I have loved every second. 

These nine people, A*n, A*h, K*y, D*a, P*e, C*t, C*s, A*a, and J*h are incredible people and are so prepared. They love this Gospel so much and some of them make great sacrifice to come and to be taught. For example, P*e walks an hour with a baby on her back to come to the chapel to be taught for 30-45 minutes and walks another hour home because we cant go to where she lives (called Westpoint, some of the worst slums in West Africa, we're banned to go there by the Mission and the UN) But she does it with such a willing heart, because she knows why she is doing it. It's crazy how close I have gotten to these people in just one month, but I have.

Liberia is incredible. I love it here so much, more than I could quite put into words. I know with all my heart that this is where I am supposed to be, and I am doing my best to magnify my calling while I'm here. It's a really cool experience to be called out by people here, but they dont call us or yell "Missionaries!" they call out "Elders!" and it's actually really cool. They know us as "The Elders" which I have come to love considering I can only be called Elder for another 10 months or so, So I take it and cherish it.

Had a really cool insight this week, I have been studying the New Testament again for a bit and this week I read John 13. Wow, I loved this chapter. It really just showed me how much the Savior loves us and how much he will do to serve us. Verses 1 - 13 when he washed the Apostles feet really got me. That Jesus Christ, The Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, got on his hands and knees, literally descended below the rest, and washed their feet. It didn't hit me much back home, but here and in Ghana, washing peoples feet is an actual thing as most people wear sandals and it's dusty. That job is the lowest of the low. The Apostles knew that, which is why Peter rejected it at first, but he missed the message Christ was trying to send. Christ was willing to do something so low, void of any mite of honor or respect even though He is the Literal Son of God. So if the Son of God Himself can do that, how much more can I humble myself and step out of my way to serve another?

This week was just awesome.
Elder Verdoni
I believe you can see the excitement on my face

This bowl and I have similar feelings

All food related pictures this week!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct 12, 2015

Wait, It's Monday? But I have nothing to talk about!

This week went too fast. I really don't have too much to talk about, but let's see what I can think of.

We worked with President Carlson a lot this week, it was cool, I love him so much, he is a great man. Really look up to him. I have been doing a lot of paper work as well, like finances and schedules and more agendas and what what. Actually thought my computer/ technical ability would be greatly diminished since I was 1) going on a mission and 2) going on a mission to West Africa.. But I was wrong. I have become a Microsoft Excel wizard, to put it humbly. Haha really though we work all the time on the computer, I do enjoy it but man there are times where I just wanna forsake it all and just go outside and teach people all day, so that's a good thing.

We got a new senior couple this week, the Allen's, from Canada. They're pretty cool! They will be an office couple (working in the office, taking care of office things) so we will see them a lot, cool.

Also, ever heard of the card game Egyptian Ratscrew? No? cus I didnt, but it's awesome! It's played back home so I might just be living under a rock, but it's fun. I won yesterday. Considering I have been companions with Elder Treadway for four weeks, and I think this is the 2nd time I won anything against him, so yeah, I was stoked.

Really that is my week, I don't have much else. Might buy some Breyers Ice cream tomorrow because that's a thing here and IT'S ICE CREAM.

Sorry this email isn't super spiritual and/or all about missionary work and my investigators but this week flew, so next week should be better in that aspect.
Till next week!
Elder Verdoni

Letter to Mom
(I asked if he knew how many missionaries he will be getting)
We are getting 6 this month (they should arrive in the MTC Wednesday), and 12 in December with 8 more in January.

Car Selfie
Cool Sunset
In the Chapel

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oct 5, 2015

One of the funnest weeks ever

This week was definitely one of the funnest weeks of my mission! I loved it! all except Wednesday.

Okay so this week started out normal, but on Wednesday we got stuck in the office all day, which is fine, it's not the first, nor the last time, but for some reason that time just really killed my mood, wasn't the best day but I slept it off and was alright. 

We had 4 other Elders with us from Thursday till today as their apartment was getting fixed, so they stayed with us until all that was complete. It was so awesome. I loved having people here! I love Elder Treadway but man it can get lonely at times, so it was a good change for a bit, lots of fun. We played Uno and then on Saturday I bought Monopoly, Lebanese Monopoly. This game was half in Arabic and was so messed up, which is probably why it made it so fun. We loved it. I lost every time, so no pride there. 

When we weren't playing, we were watching General Conference. I GOT TO WATCH ALL OF GENERAL CONFERENCE FOR THE FIRST TIME MY WHOLE MISSION, AND I WATCHED IT LIVE. The morning Session started at 4pm, which is a bit later than 9, but I'm on the other side of the planet, such a good conference though. I learned so much, and really gained some insights that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Really sad to see President Monson speak, it was a great talk, but hard to watch him struggle to speak. That man wasn't going to let anything stop him from finishing his talk. props to him. The three new Apostles are great, and like every conference, Elder Holland's talk rocked. Weird to think I have only one General Conference weird.

Lots of rain this week! pretty big storms! watched a tree get blown over and crush a little shop and drag electric wires all over the road, no one was hurt, but crazy to watch. Also, I am really into football, sorry I mean soccer, now. Like, its so fun to watch and to be involved in, that isn't gonna leave me. Go Arsenal.

Other than that, the work is great, and so is life. I wasn't able to work too much this week as I had to help deal with the Elders Apartment and a lot of office work, but life is awesome. I hope you guys have a great week and find a scripture to ponderize about!
Elder Verdoni 

Letter to Mom
Well conference was so good, I almost stayed up to watch the Priesthood session, but that was from 12 to 2am, so no, I crashed lol. I loved conference. We didn't have too many goodies but we had cookies and no-bakes and chips. and no puzzles but Monopoly. (We generally had lots of goodies and puzzels during conference when he was younger)  Loved it, I loved the talks so much! especially Elder Holland's. That's all for you mom. Thanks for all that you have done. I sure do miss feeling that love face to face, but then again, soon enough. Still trying to be a good assistant, it's not easy, especially when no one is to sure as to what all I should be doing, but step by step I'll learn.

Watching conference